Holden previews Bristol Rovers visit


Dean Holden is expecting a tough test from Bristol Rovers at The Valley on Tuesday evening.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, the gaffer said: “It will be a strong test for us. I think their recruitment has been very good and they’ve adopted a slightly different style in the way that they want to play. They’re a team, certainly in the first few games, who want to be on the ball and be a possession-based team.

“Early in the season you don’t always know exactly what to expect and they’ve got quite a few good players in key positions in forward areas that they could rotate. I think we’ll get an absolute steer on their system and style once we get the teamsheets in. For us, it’s about making sure that we continue our good form from the first home win of the season. We want to get two from two at home.

“Going out for the warm-up before the Leyton Orient game, I popped my head out of the tunnel and you could hear The Valley was rocking. I think our supporters know how much we value that and how important that is. It goes both ways, doesn’t it? The supporters turn up and get behind the team and then they need to see a team on the pitch which reflects them. We certainly did that against Leyton Orient in our first home fixture and we’ll look to continue that tomorrow.”

Holden revealed late calls will be made on ‘one or two’ players ahead of the midweek contest.

“There’s still some decisions to be made coming up towards kick-off tomorrow. We’ll see tomorrow morning who’s available. We’re still nursing one or two knocks from the weekend.

“There’s players that we’re not quite sure on yet so the work on the grass this morning - certainly in terms of the starters at Peterborough - was quite minimal to make sure they recover as quickly as they can. There’s been a lot of work in the analysis room in terms of debriefing Saturday’s game and obviously looking ahead to Bristol Rovers. We’ll make a late call on one or two players.”

The boss confirmed Miles Leaburn (ankle) and Chuks Aneke (calf) have both stepped up their respective recoveries.

He said: “They’re both back on the grass which is good to see, I have to say. They’re not with the first team yet; they’re with the sports science team and they’re going through their rehabilitation.

“The gym work will obviously continue but they’re now getting their boots on, getting a touch of the ball and working on the fitness side of things out on the grass. They’re both progressing well.”

Holden also provided an update on the fitness of Scott Fraser and Tyreece Campbell.

“Scotty unfortunately picked up a calf injury right at the end of the first game against Leyton Orient. Having scanned that it wasn’t too severe, but he’ll certainly be missing for a number of weeks.”

“We’re hoping Tyreece won’t be out as long as Scotty. I’m disappointed for Tyreece. He came on as an early sub for Richard Chin who was injured at Newport and then Tyreece got himself injured. It’s a contact injury - he just rolled his ankle in a tackle. We’re hoping that one won’t be too bad, but he’ll certainly be unavailable for the next few games at least.”

Asked how things are progressing in terms of the transfer window, he explained:  “Well, we’ve still got our targets. It’s a question that you face in every interview and I totally get it because it’s a topical question obviously for our supporters and for everybody.

“I think the recruitment’s been strong up to now and we still want to be active, but what we don’t want to do is go and rush into making signings. Obviously we’ve picked up one or two injuries, but we don’t want to go and rush a signing that’s not the right one for the football club. There’s still a lot of conversations going on, still a lot of phone calls and still a lot of work behind the scenes. There’s still two-and-a-half weeks to go so we’ll see how the squad looks in the next few weeks.”

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Pictures from Leyton Orient win
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